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Western UP home to kidnap mafia

The big names of kidnapping mafia have their base at Ghaziabad, report Tushar Srivastava and Atul Mathur.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2006 01:58 IST

Ghaziabad, Noida along with areas of western Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have been for the last decade-and-a-half been breeding grounds of extortion and kidnapping.

The biggest names in the kidnapping business had made Ghaziabad their base and there was a time, not many years back, when gangsters would roam the roads of Uttar Pradesh unchallenged.

Big names in the kidnapping business

Jatin Sirohi of Bulandshahar, Babloo Srivastava, Yashbir Fauji and Narender Fauji of Dhankar, Vinod Gang of Gwalior, Dharmender Gang of Kirthal are the top names in the kidnapping and extortion business. This when a number of them are in jails — Sirohi is in Bulandshahar, Dharmendra in Meerut and Babloo Srivastava is in judicial custody. Another big name in the extortion business, Ravinder Bhura, was killed in custody recently.

Sirohi, sources said, has the biggest gang with over a hundred members. These gangs have a network running from western UP to Madhya Pradesh to Haryana. These gangs have an understanding with each other and often coordinate operations.

Ghaziabad: Gangsters’ den

Prominent gangsters of yesteryears active in Ghaziabad include Mahender Fauji, Satbir Gujjar, Rajbir Ramana, Ravinder Bhura. Economic prosperity attracted criminals to this industrial town of western UP.
SSP Piyush Mordia, however, said that hardly any known gangs were now active in Ghaziabad.

In the early 1990s, Satish Kaura of Samtel Industries had reportedly payed Rs 35 lakh to his kidnappers. Gurjeet Singh Hanspal, a leading businessman, was not that lucky. The body of his abducted son has not been recovered till date. Former mayor Dinesh Chand Garg’s grandson was also kidnapped and killed in the early 1990s.

Ghaziabad-based criminals have been involved in kidnapping cases in Delhi as well. Famous skin specialist Dr R.K. Behl and a leading businessmen, Bribal Das, are examples. Both had to pay for their freedom.

Why kidnapping is big business in UP

Kidnapping is one of the safest businesses for criminals as in almost hundred per cent cases where the victim is released, their families do not pursue the case. “The ransom, it has lately been found, is being transferred through hawala or through internet to other countries,” a senior police officer said.

Former Director General of Police of UP, Prakash Singh, said: “Although Ghaziabad and Noida have traditionally been India’s wild west and most affected by crime, past few years have been particularly bad.”

He blames local politicians for patronizing anti-social activities. “Politicians have become very powerful and police are overawed by them. Politicians behave in the manner they want — like getting their men released from custody. They have started dominating police. This has led to loss of self-confidence among officers. The party that comes to powers posts its own men in powerful positions,” he said.

Email: tushar@hindustantimes.com, atulmathur@hindustantimes.com